"I'll get back to you"..when?

Hey Miss Snark,

Love the blog, love Killer Yapp. I have a quandry. Two weeks ago, I had an offer on my newest tome. Yay me! I also had three partials out to agents. So I madly write e-mails off to the three, asking politely for them to get off their duffs and tell me what they think. Two very nice rejections. By nice, I mean gave constructive crit and an ego-stroke, but a pass nonetheless. Both got back to me inside two days.

Agent three gives me a e-mail back, thanking me for keeping her updated and saying she'll get back to me 'in a few days'. That was almost two weeks ago. Do I tell this agent the ship has sailed, or wait her out?

Reading other people's dealings with her, she does get sales, but is lax on communication. Her website says a turnaround of 'four weeks, usually'. She's had the partial for three months. Not that I mind that part, I know wait times can be long. But when someone tells you they have an offer - don't most agents give a little more effort?

Thanks for all your help :)

She's had her chance. And missed it. She may be really really busy with other things and just not reading stuff right now, but too bad. This is YOUR career, not hers. You gotta go with the one who's moving you forward. That's the active offer not the passive "I'll get back to you".

And yes, generally, as a courtesy, if someone tells me they have an offer I get back to them promptly. And lest any clever connivers out there think "oh boy, I'll just email ol Snark and tell her I have an offer", I almost always pass. I do this particularly if I haven't gotten around to reading the novel. This is not a good way to get your stuff read more quickly so DO NOT do this unless you really have an offer.


Christine said...

Thanks :)

KY rocks! And you too, of course. Long may you swill gin.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia writes:

I'm confused, Miss Snark. You write about those who tell you they have an offer ...

I almost always pass. I do this particularly if I haven't gotten around to reading the novel.

Do you mean you pass when a writer you're considering has an offer from another agent ... not an offer of an actual sale?

I can understand an agent thinking, "Well, she's got a solid offer for representation, and I'm feeling iffy on her work, plus I'm busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kickin' contest."

But how would you react to an author who e-mails, "Have offer to buy -- need agent to work out the details!" ... especially if the MS in question is one you are currently reviewing?